Summary: Sometimes your first time isn't all sunshine and fireworks. Sei and Yumi learn that the hard way. Yuri.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Maria-sama ga Miteru or any of its characters.
Rating: T for adult content, sexual content, language and suggestive themes.
Bend and Break by The Denominator.
The first part of their evening.
"Hey Yumi, Yumi. Let's blow this joint."
"Where will we go?"
"On a proper date."
"I asked 'where', Sei. Not about your half-baked plan."
"If I say, it'll spoil the surprise.
"You already gave me enough 'surprises' for tonight."
"We'll need to drive there. And it might take a while…"
"You aren't listening, are you? And aren't we technically on a date already?"
"I said a 'proper date'! I'm not Sachiko, you know. The hand-holding and wine over dinner thing is not my style. Let Satou Sei show you how she does it."
"I'm not getting in any moving vehicle with you again. You just had something to drink, too."
"You wound me. Just come on. How often do I get to show my Yumi around town?"
"Fine. But promise you won't try to commit double suicide on the road."
"I promise I'll try."
Fukuzawa Yumi held the phone against her ear with both hands—one at the grip and the other at the mouthpiece—as she spoke to her sibling for the first time in two months.
"How's school treating you, Yumi?" Yuuki's voice asked.
"It's okay. The people are really interesting—most of them think it's fascinating that I'm Catholic, and they ask me all sorts of things. Oh, and the very first lecture I had—the professor's totally strange! He sometimes drifts off and has a conversation with himself…And there are some really eccentric political activists here too. They held a rally in the cafeteria and they got sent out and were given a warning. And that was only in the first week! University is different from high school. It's only been a semester since I started but everything still looks pretty...exciting. What about you?"
"Eh, college life here is okay."
"Yuuki, 'okay'? That's all?"
"Should I say something else?"
"Aren't you coming back home for the break? Mum and dad are nagging me about how much they miss you."
"Well, I miss being home too, but I can't leave. I'm holding down a job here. It would be too inconvenient to travel back and forth from work to home. It's easier if I just stay in the dorms. Oh, Yumi. Kobayashi sends his regards."
"Kobayashi? Tell him I send 'thanks' and I wish him good health and good luck at school."
"Ah…Yumi. I don't really want to be a mediator in this, but he asked if he could call you sometime."
"Oh…but Yuuki, I don't really like Kobayashi that way. He's like you—like my little brother."
"I'll tell him then."
"If he just wants to talk, he can still call. But if he wants something more, I'll have to say I'm sorry."
"My big sister, Yumi. A year ago, you would've screamed if I mentioned that Kobayashi was interested in you. I guess being Rosa Chinensis paid off in more ways than one."
"But I'm still the same!"
"Not really. You got a little less shy. I guess."
"You don't get away with guessing."
"Oh—yeah, I'm coming, give me a second! Hey, Yumi, I have to go now. I'll talk to you some time."
Yumi hung up the phone and flopped down on her bed. She sighed. Here she was, nearly nineteen years old, lying on the bed she'd always had, in a room she'd always slept in, in her parents' house on a Saturday night. It was not a terrible thing, Yumi figured. It was her choice to return home for her vacation. It meant turning down several invitations to the dorm parties that were being thrown by her roommates. That was not much of a terrible thing either. After all, the last university party Yumi had gone to…it gave her quite a surprise, to put it mildly. Yumi was no prude, but it was still unsettling to hear profanities be spoken as though it were an art, to see mass drinking, smoking and girls indulging boys with the ease a professional would have in their calling. Being sheltered for several years in that 'pure garden of maidens' made it difficult for her to stomach the things of the bigger world. It hit her hard that first few days of university that Lillian Academy was nothing more than an illusion. A place where friendship and love blossomed easily. Reality was nothing like that. She realised what a bad joke it had all been when she stepped into a world with no onee-samas, no rosaries and no Maria-sama.
"Yumi?!" Fukuzawa Miki called from downstairs.
"You have a visitor!"
Yumi crawled off her bed. Who would come visiting at such an hour? Better yet, who else besides Yuuki, Sachiko and her parents knew that she returned? A momentary feeling of dread swept over her as she thought it might be Kobayashi coming to confess his feelings to her. How would she turn him down? But she quickly brushed the idea away. He was nowhere close to her, very close to Yuuki and it would be unlikely that he could make a four hour journey from his dorms to the Fukuzawa residence through eight o' clock traffic on a Saturday night in Tokyo. Unless of course, he could fly, which Yumi highly doubted. She laughed a little at herself for panicking needlessly.
However, when she did get downstairs, she berated herself for letting her guard down when she should have been panicking. It was Satou Sei, standing in her doorway, a broad smile on her face.
"Yumi!" she said cheerfully. "Thank you for waiting with me, Aunt Miki."
"It's no problem. Yumi, Sei has come to pick you up. Ah, you're not even dressed yet!"
"Dressed?" asked Yumi, frowning.
"Yeah, Yumi," Sei said casually, but the mischievous glint in her eyes did not escape Yumi, "you said you would be dressed and waiting for me."
Yumi was about to object, but she had enough experience with Sei to know that she would lose the debate, and so nodded and headed back to her room to throw something other than her pyjamas on. She pulled on a green skirt and white top combination, deciding that it was suitable attire for wherever Sei decided to take her. She ran a brush through her loose brown hair, almost grateful she got rid of the ribbons—it certainly took less time to get ready on mornings. And in the midst of her quick preparations, she wondered just how did that flirt, that troublemaker, the former Rosa Gigantea, find out about her plans?
When Yumi reappeared downstairs, she found Sei and her mother in the living room, having tea.
"Ah, Yumi!" said Sei, downing whatever was left in her teacup. "Thank you very much, Aunt Miki."
Yumi glared a little at Sei.
"Any particular curfew?" Sei asked, smirking at Yumi.
"I'm old enough not to have a curfew, Sei," Yumi responded.
"You two just be safe, okay?" said Miki.
"We will! I'll take good care of her."
"That's what I'm afraid of," Yumi mumbled.
Outside the Fukuzawa residence, where Sei had parked, Yumi exploded.
"What was that all about, Sei?"
"What's the meaning of this?"
"I came to take you out, of course. It's a Saturday night. I don't have any papers, so I'm totally free. Ah, you look so pretty."
"How'd you know I was home?" Yumi asked, ignoring her.
"Sachiko told you?"
"You forget we go to the same university? I bumped into her in the canteen and we had tea. I brought you up and she told me you were here. Well, she really didn't tell me…had to weasel it out of her…really, Yumi, I'm hurt that you'd come all the way back home and not tell me. Your dearest Sei, you neglect to tell!"
"I was planning to…eventually…but what about you? Showing up here without so much as a warning!"
"And ruin my grand entrance? I think not."
"Well, then. I guess I have no choice but to go along with you tonight, right?"
"You got it!" Sei said cheerfully, ruffling Yumi's hair slightly.
"What's the occasion?" Yumi asked, glaring at Sei while attempting to neaten her hair.
"None, really. I haven't seen you since you started university. You don't even call or write or send emails…"
"That's because I was busy, and I'm pretty sure you were too."
"That may or may not have been the case. Well, that's in the past. We shall look ahead now. How about a party?"
"It's a Saturday night, Yumi. Let's set the town on fire. Crash a club or two. I'll take good care of you."
"What, make sure no one slips things into my drink?"
"But then, YOU might be the one who'd do that…" Yumi mumbled.
"Why Yumi, you know I wouldn't do that to you!"
"Okay. No clubs or parties. I want to take you out for a drive—how about that? Is that okay with you?"
Sei led Yumi down the short walkway, towards her yellow Beetle. She opened the door at the passenger's side for Yumi, smirking.
"I'm doomed," Yumi muttered while getting in.
As Sei sidled into driver's seat, Yumi buckled herself in. The car started with a grumble, Sei pressed lightly on the accelerator to get the engine going. After a few minutes of Yumi's incoherent mumblings and Sei's snickering, Sei pulled out of the Fukuzawa driveway.
"What kind of music is this?" Yumi asked, looking at the radio which had come on when the car had started.
"Mmm?" Sei asked, eyeing the radio herself.
"Eyes on the road! I'll change it."
Yumi fiddled with the dial, changing the enka to what sounded like a string quartet performing a semi-famous piece she knew she could hum along to, but did not know the name to. Yumi decided to give up on the music, but the new song was much better to listen to than the depressed wailings of an eighty-year-old woman.
"Oh, but that's the best stuff to get road rage to!" Sei joked.
"I'd rather you not. Besides, playing something that sounds like a funeral dirge is ominous."
Yumi did notice though, that Sei was driving quite cautiously compared to the usual break-neck speed she was accustomed to. Perhaps her second year at university led her to settle down some more.
"So, you were telling me about school."
"I was talking to Yuuki about it earlier. It's entertaining, to say the least. But the truth is…it's kind of scary. There's no one there who'd look out for you. I was wondering if it would have been…easier, to go to Lillian University."
"Like you," Yumi replied.
"You missed me that much?"
"There's nobody I could confide in."
"You could have called me if you needed me, Yumi."
"It's not the same."
Sei took the time to look at Yumi, whose eyes were fixated on the things they drove past.
"You're right," Sei admitted. "It isn't."
"It's hard to meet new people," Yumi said softly, turning to face Sei.
"You'll be fine, Yumi. Unlike people like me, you've never had a problem with fitting in," Sei told her, turning to face her and wink.
"Eyes on the road!" Yumi nearly shrieked.
When her heart had stopped beating so erratically, Yumi glared at Sei who was busy chuckling at her unease.
"That's not funny!"
"I thought it was! You shouldn't worry—you're in safe hands. And you have your seatbelt on. Seatbelts save people like, I dunno, 60 percent of the time."
Yumi decided that the last statement was not very reassuring but resisted the urge to tighten her fingers around the belt and clutch it as though it was a lifebuoy and she was lost at sea.
"Okay, I'm sorry."
"No, you're not."
"Ah! You don't believe me, Yumi?"
"You never give me any reason to, Sei."
"Salt in my wounds…"
"You said just now, that you had problems fitting in."
"I suppose was terrible at it," Sei admitted.
"But at Lillian, you were Rosa Gigantea. And well liked. How could you have had a problem?"
"I'm not surprised you never noticed. Ah. Yumi, the White Roses are the sort who always struggle with conformity. Me, I was dead tired of conforming, while Shimako was trying hard to conform. We just don't fit in very well. Maybe it's a curse. But then, onee-sama was perfectly fine…maybe it was just me," Sei said, drifting off.
"Noriko seemed to have had that problem, too, at the start. Touko never let her rest."
"But she fit in eventually?"
"That's part of the curse too, but I welcomed it. After what happened in my second year, with Shiori, I was glad for a little bit of normal. Of course, I didn't realise that then."
Yumi's heart skipped a little at the mention of Kubo Shiori. To say Sei rarely spoke of her was an understatement. The only time Sei ever uttered the name around Yumi was during a situation in which the truth would have eventually surfaced. And even then, she had hardly said anything.
"I still don't appreciate you telling Sachiko before me that you were home again. You have to pay the penalty for that one tonight, Yumi."
"Isn't this a penalty enough?"
Yumi smiled at Sei, but it quickly dissipated when she heard no counterattack and saw the thoughtful look on Sei's face.
"I just thought you might have said something to me, first."
"I'm sorry," Yumi said sincerely.
"It's okay…I mean, you owe it to her, what with how you feel about her, right?"
Yumi got quiet for a minute. She did not keep a secret that her affections for Sachiko were more than sisterly, but then, she never flaunted it. Either way, it was not surprising to her that Sei would have figured it out without her even having to say anything. Sei, Yumi knew, was nothing like Sachiko. Sei, Yumi knew, understood her in ways even her onee-sama did not.
"So tell me…was Sachiko your first love?" Sei asked, as though she were enquiring about the weather.
"…Yes," Yumi answered honestly.
"Ah, I was hoping you would say it was me!"
"Because I love you, Yumi."
"That's not the first time you said that," Yumi laughed.
"My charm doesn't work on you anymore? I feel incomplete now."
Sei started smiling again, and it made Yumi feel much better about talking about it.
"Sachiko," Sei tsked, "brilliant woman, but she can be dumber than a bag of bricks."
"What do you mean, Sei?"
"She still doesn't know a thing. Not a thing. She still believes that the swooning and wooing and giving people blue-fricking-balls are the ways to go," Sei answered, the last part coming out in almost bitter tones.
"Is that really love, Yumi?"
"What are you trying to say?"
"Yumi…what did Sachiko do when she graduated? Did she promise to extradite herself from the Ogasawara Group and wait for you so you can shack up and live happily ever after? No, she did what any other straight girl playing love-love with another girl did: she stopped playing."
Yumi did not know quite how to swallow this. The truth was, she had known. Sei was right. She just really did not know how now to take it.
"If I'm the victim here…why are you so upset, Sei?"
"Sachiko's a great kid, but she's wasteful."
"Then you tell me what it's really like," Yumi challenged, looking outside her window once more, admiring for a moment the night's lights, the busy people in the streets standing idly then quickly becoming blurs, and the feel of summer air on her skin.
"What's 'what' like?" Sei responded.
Yumi pressed on, "Being in love. In real love."
"Real love?" she asked, glancing at Yumi, finding the indignant expression on the young woman's face irresistibly endearing.
"You were preaching about it just now, come on, spit it out. Tell me all you know, Satou Sei."
Sei laughed, then spoke.
"Real love. What makes you think I know anything about that?"
Yumi blinked, then answered.
Sei spoke in a tone Yumi was not quite used to hearing. It scared her, and immediately, she regretted speaking up, and worse yet, bringing up Shiori when Sei herself was so frugal in dispensing information about her ex-lover.
"I'm sorry," Yumi blurted out.
"You don't have to."
"I want to. If it would help any," Sei said gently.
"Then go on."
"Shiori was my first love. And you know, they always say first loves are always doomed to despair."
"And that they're the most precious."
Sei smiled before continuing, "There is that too. I felt awful having to lose Shiori. Did you feel awful losing Sachiko?"
Yumi thought about it. She knew the answer, having thought about it many times before.
"Bad, but not awful," she admitted.
"I used to feel jealous of corpses because they got to be dead. That's how I see love. Being absolutely unable to live without the other person. So, you know, it didn't take me long to rule out just how much Shiori loved me."
"Sei…" Yumi said, "you win. You're right. And, thank you."
"Opening up some more to me."
"Bah, we had a better mood going when we were listening to the dirge," Sei joked, reaching out to turn the radio's dial. "What say you something light and poppy?"
"Will you tell me more sometime?"
"You and her."
The blurs outside the car became more focused as Sei slowed down. She watched the impending traffic and sighed, however was not deterred because at least it was Yumi she would be stuck in traffic with and not some stranger who made her uncomfortable.
"Like dad," Sei muttered.
"How about now?" Sei offered. "I'll tell you about it now."
"It looks like we're going to be here for a while."
"If you're thinking about what I said about Shiori before, I'll have you know now that I no longer feel that way. I mean…it still hurts pretty bad when I think about her sometimes. But now. I enjoy my life. But then, I told you that already, way back when. In our time apart, and over these years, I've learnt things. If I was still with her, things might have been bad. I was so absorbed with her—it could have been an obsession. I did something terrible. When I was with her, I ignored everyone else. I needed no one else. And I've come to understand that by rejecting people's help is the same as rejecting them. And that it hurts to be rejected. I know enough now to say that had my first love been perfect, I wouldn't be here with you now, Yumi."
Yumi felt her chest tighten just slightly.
"No. No 'still'. I'm quite pleased to know you. I lost someone important to me, and no one can ever replace her…but you're very charming in your own way."
"It's not really the same with Sachiko and I," Yumi confided. "I think part of me still saw her as my onee-sama even while I fell in love with her. I guess that's why it doesn't hurt as much. I think I always knew I would've lost her."
"You had any long, nice cries over it?"
"Had any for me?"
"Not a one."
"What have I done to you, Yumi, to deserve this?"
The car moved every few minutes, crawling through the congestion. Yumi had half a mind to ask where exactly it was Sei was taking her, but she decided that she wanted to be surprised, since nothing all too surprising had happened that evening.
"So, the soeurs. They're the Rosas now, right? How's Touko?"
"Last time we spoke, she was doing well for herself."
"Mmm, that's good. Oh! We're here," Sei said. "Parking spot, parking spot. We might've done better taking the bus."
After they parked, Yumi thanked Maria silently for allowing her to remain both alive and in one piece after a car-ride with Sei, and then followed her towards a building that young people were filtering in and out of.
"Watch your step," Sei said, leading Yumi down a short flight of stairs to the entrance.
"What is this place?"
"An S&M parlour," Sei answered cheekily.
Yumi ignored her until they got inside. It was simply a restaurant and bar.
"This is your big surprise?"
"You said…!" Yumi began, until she realised on her own, though very late, that Sei had tricked her into going on a normal date with her.
"Are you hungry?"
"No. I had dinner a little while before you picked me up."
"Good," Sei said, grinning, "you've got your stomach sponge, now we can just hit the bar!"
They were seated near the bar soon enough, and Sei ordered a straight shot for herself and a daiquiri for Yumi.
"You ever had alcohol before?"
Yumi nodded that she had. She was, after all, going to university and her roommate was no more sober than any other girl on campus, especially on the weekends when she sometimes got Yumi to indulge a little in a beer or two.
"Any good?" Sei asked, downing her drink in one go, and ordering another.
"It's good," Yumi said drinking it, although a little irritated that Sei would order something so harmless for her. "Where'd you find this place?"
"Kei and I come here sometimes. She and her roomies brought me here a few months ago."
"How is Kei?"
"Good, I guess. She asks about you every now and again."
"You left quite an impression on her, Yumi."
"Are you…never mind."
Sei ordered another shot. Yumi still played around with her own drink.
"Are you two…seeing each other?"
Sei took the opportunity to laugh.
"Kei? Yeah, right. First off, she's not into women."
Sei had another.
"Secondly? I like someone else."
"Yes, Yumi. You hurt me! This is the second time I've confessed to you for the night and you still don't believe me!" Sei said dramatically.
"You confess to every girl," Yumi said flatly.
And one more.
"Hmm, maybe you're right."
"You're too much of a flirt."
Sei was about to order another shot, but Yumi protested.
"Hey! You're driving!"
"But I'm not even buzzed yet!"
Sei smirked and changed her order to a tall glass of water with ice.
"So you aren't with anyone, then?" Yumi ventured.
"Nope. How about you? You looking to move on from Sachiko?"
"I don't know."
Yumi finished her daiquiri.
"How do martinis taste?" she asked Sei.
"Martinis? Are you forty-five and bitter? Don't have that. You're young! Learn to drink your own age, Yumi. You want a pina colada?"
"I'll have a beer, thanks," Yumi said, making a face.
Sei raised an eyebrow, but she looked pleased and got Yumi a beer.
"There are tons of girls out there, Yumi," she said, sipping her water. "Tons."
"Yeah? And how many are willing to fall in love with me?"
"Sei. You need to stop saying that. So why haven't you got a girlfriend? Seriously? If you say it's because you love me again, so help me, I'll punch you…"
"I don't know, honestly. Not many girls are in love with me, I guess," Sei said, shrugging.
"What about her?"
"She liked you."
"Eh…I think maybe she just admired me. After all, it's hard not to admire someone as cool as me."
"No. She really did!"
"Nah, I didn't see it."
"You even kissed her once!"
"Oh yeah, you saw that…it was only on her cheek."
"You kissed her."
"You kissed me."
Yumi fell silent.
"See? Kisses can mean nothing."
Yumi took a sip from her beer. It was a little warm and tasted unpleasant. She then took a deep swig, trying to polish it off quickly.
"Didn't see it," Sei said firmly.
Yumi watched as she swallowed, then eventually murmured, "That's because you probably chose not to see it."
"That's exactly what Youko once told me," Sei chuckled, setting her now-empty water glass down on the table.
"Yup. Said that I only see what I want to."
"She liked me. I can say that."
"Youko?! I had no idea she was…She confessed?"
"She didn't. You know how Youko has her own way of getting things to come to light. It was a long time ago."
"What did you do?"
"Ignored it. I didn't want Youko."
"B-But Youko is…" Yumi stammered, "She's…"
"Smart? Beautiful? Caring? Miss Lillian in the flesh?"
Sei had found words where Yumi had lost them.
"Yes," Yumi answered slowly, almost calculatedly.
"Not my kind of woman."
"I know you're into the industrious type, Yumi, I mean, Sachiko for God's sake, but I'm not like that, no, not at all and let's leave it at that."
Yumi knew that she should not press Sei any further. The news that Mizuno Youko was interested romantically in Satou Sei was heavy, and she was glad not to speak as she let that shocker settle slowly in her stomach. They sat quietly as the music and chatter pumped around them. Neither really said anything more, save Sei, who had simply ordered another beer for Yumi and cola for herself.
"You know, I always used to believe Shimako might have been in love with you," Yumi mumbled several minutes after.
Sei, who had her glass to her mouth and drink half-way down her throat, gagged momentarily before swallowing. Yumi looked at her, her eyes wide with the fear of Sei almost drowning in soda and spit, as Sei moved the glass to laugh out loud.
"Yumi, you kill me!" she said, grinning wildly.
"It wasn't meant as a joke!" Yumi muttered indignantly. "I was being serious."
"Yeah right! Shimako's one hundred and twenty percent straight. Okay, maybe not so much…"
"I know, I know. I wasn't referring to now. It was at the start. Coming to our last year at Lillian, I saw that I was really wrong."
"Well, she fell for that older college guy, didn't she?"
"It stinks, doesn't it?"
"What?" Yumi asked.
"How lonely it really is."
"What do you mean?"
"I bet when you were at Lillian, you thought 'Here's a place where there are people like me. I mean, an all girls' school? There must be at least ONE other!' And then you realise you're wrong," Sei said, shaking her head. "Way wrong. How many of those girls really loved one another? Look at the Yamayurikai, for example. Rei, I suspect, would be the first to point fingers at. After me, of course. Her and Yoshino. Anyone would think that..."
"But Rei wants to get married someday and be a homemaker. And Yoshino likes Yuuki, I think."
"But it came across that they were lovers, right? Well, Eriko never pretended. She made it clear that she wanted a man. Sachiko is in love with Kashiwagi, the gay asshole. And Youko…well, Youko made her preferences really clear. What a waste. 'Why Youko'? I have to ask."
"It really never even occurred to me that she was like that too," Yumi said, a little sheepishly.
"I don't think she really is, maybe she's bi. I tell you one thing; I don't want a bi girlfriend."
"I lost to God once, you think I wouldn't lose to Man?" Sei said, and Yumi almost thought it poetic.
"I wouldn't mind."
"That's 'cause Sachiko has you whipped. Hey, what about those petite soeurs of yours? Are they playing in the woodwind section with us?"
Yumi made a face at Sei.
"Touko isn't like that. Neither is Arima Nana. And Noriko…funny enough, Noriko and Shimako fell for the same guy."
"The older college guy?"
"How did that turn out," Sei said to herself, and Yumi thought it best not to answer.
Yumi glanced at her wrist, but realised that she forgot to put her watch on.
"Hey Yumi, Yumi. Let's blow this joint."
The second part of their evening.
"I got a question."
"You still a virgin?"
"I mean, I thought about it. If you were waiting for Sachiko, you've got to still be a virgin, right?"
"You ever been with a woman, Yumi?"
"How could I have been if I…"
"I mean, you've never even fooled around? Like just touching?"
"Why are you asking me these things?"
"Let me do it, Yumi.
"Let me be your first."
Yumi grudgingly got into the car, Sei grinning at her all the while.
"Where are we going?"
"To a view!"
"Yes. A make-out point, to be more precise."
"What?! I'll do no such thing with you."
"Oh, you know you want it, Yumi. Besides, we're only going to sight-see."
"In the dark?"
"You'll be amazed by the sights."
Sei had a mischievous look in her eyes as they drove, Yumi soon noticed, out of the city and more towards the outskirts. The night was still young, but Yumi felt strangely sleepy, and she rested herself comfortably in her seat, closing her eyes every now and then. She wondered briefly if Sei really had spiked her drinks, but quietly laughed it off. Sei allowed her to take the catnaps, after all, it was her idea to drive the girl out there, and she had not anticipated the traffic. Yumi took a few moments to look at Sei; the Sei who was not aware that anyone was watching her, the Sei who did not look distanced and removed, the Sei who did not wear the everlasting grin, but the Sei who was contented with everything around her. The thoughtful expression the older woman wore made Yumi smile.
Satou Sei was handsome, Yumi had to admit. She was not beautiful, women like Ogasawara Sachiko and Mizuno Youko were beautiful, and she was not pretty like Toudou Shimako, nor was she cute like Shimazu Yoshino or good-looking like Hasekura Rei. Sei's features were striking, and they struck Yumi as being handsome though she knew had she ever mentioned it to anyone, they would tell her to use more conventional, more feminine adjectives.
Yumi was not aware that she had dozed off, but Sei shook her lightly to wake her.
"We're here," Sei said.
The car was stationary, but Sei did not turn the engine off. They were at the 'make-out' point Sei had spoken about. Yumi unbuckled her seatbelt after seeing Sei do the same.
"Look…" Sei said quietly, pointing at several parked cars. "Do you see it?"
Yumi was about to question Sei's sanity when she heard it rather than saw it.
"I didn't know…people did this kind of stuff…out here," Yumi stated weakly, finally seeing the car closest to theirs shake complimenting the quickly becoming unbearable creaking.
"Isn't it a lovely sight!"
"No, it isn't. This is lewd."
"I brought you here to teach you something, Yumi," Sei said solemnly.
"Watch and learn," Sei said, shifting the gears from Park to Drive.
The once idle car now slowly drove past several shaking cars, and Yumi heard the gravel crunching beneath the rubber tyres.
"Seatbelt, milady," Sei said.
Yumi hardly had time to react, when Sei slammed her fists against the steering wheel, against the car's horn, causing the Beetle to belt out a loud, erratic honk.
"What the—" Yumi spluttered, staring wild-eyed at Sei who laughed out loud.
The parked cars stopped moving, and Yumi started hearing angry shouts, when Sei decided to high-tail it out of the premises, stamping down hard on the gas.
"Why'd you do that?!" Yumi argued, her heart pounding against her chest, as she struggled to lock her seatbelt in place.
"Imagine how pissed they must be!" Sei chuckled.
"Take me home."
"I said I want to go home now, Sei," Yumi said, irritated, "and slow down! You want us to die or something?"
"It was funny, admit it!"
"No, it was mean. Those people were…were…you shouldn't have interrupted."
"Damn, that one killed the last time I did it. I guess girls at Lillian University are slacker than the ones at yours," Sei said musingly. "Okay. I'll take you home."
"How would you have liked it if some jerk popped the Death Horn in your ears while you were being intimate with your lover?"
"Oh, no," Sei laughed. "What'd you say? 'Intimate with your lover'? It's called sex, Yumi. Sex. Want me to spell it out for you?"
"I'm quite capable of spelling it myself, thanks."
"Why the hell did you bring me out here for? Just for that?"
"You don't go on trips, do you? Just last week, Kei and a bunch of us drove for eight hours just to get some pork buns! It's called 'doing fun things'—try it out sometime. Or is Sachiko berating you in the back of your mind?"
"Why'd you bring her up?" Yumi asked.
"She was the one who made you stiff."
"Stiff? Being upset over THAT makes me stiff?"
"No, no, I said 'Sachiko'. Weren't you listening?"
"Sei, what is wrong with you? You take me out for drinks, then you show me what's practically a public orgy, and now you're taking cheap shots at onee…at Sachiko. You either ought to be really pissed out of your mind or ready with an explanation—which is it?"
"I'm sorry, okay? I thought you would have found it funny. And as for Sachiko…I'm just a little upset, okay? She was the first person I could think of."
"If you want to do things like this, you do it with Kei and your other friends, not me. Got it?"
"Got it. But I'll have you know, Kei was the only one in the group who didn't like it either."
"I like her even more now."
The drive back had got quiet. Sei reached out and turned the music up louder, more to drown out the nagging voices in her head rather than the silence. Silence with Yumi was something she was always comfortable with. It was those voices that asked her 'Are you an idiot?' that she could do without. She looked over at Yumi when she was sure the other girl wouldn't be looking. Sometimes she caught her eye, and Yumi would frown then look away. Other times she saw Yumi press her head against the window's glass—Yumi had turned it up after Sei's getaway, perhaps in fear of angry couples with rocks and good aim—and doze into slumber again. Sei thought it the sweetest thing to see her Yumi look tired, and then thought herself odd for thinking it. But it was true, people mostly saw the Yumi who was bright and bubbling and full of energy strong enough to power an entire grid block in Tokyo. It made her feel…special, maybe…to think that she was the only person who got to see the girl exhausted—trying to get Sachiko a Valentine's and crying about it in the greenhouse, preparing for the Yamayurikai send-off and fainting, chasing after Sachiko in the rain only to collapse into Sei's arms eventually—to see her in need. Sei found it funny that it was her who always happened to be there. Or maybe, Yumi had always wanted her to be there.
When they returned to the Fukuzawa residence, Yumi was awake and did not need Sei's gentle nudging.
"Here we are," Sei said, "and Yumi…I really don't want you to be mad at me."
"Sei…" Yumi said, smiling lightly, "I can't stay mad at you even if I wanted to. And, I don't suppose tonight was bad. I can tell my roommate about the make-out point escapades and rub her nose in it—she calls me an 'uptight, holy girl' when I don't agree to commit almost-crimes with her and the others. And I now know that I should avoid martinis until I'm over forty and miserable."
"You have learned well, grasshopper," Sei said, bowing slightly.
Yumi opened the door of the car and looked at Sei.
"Come," she said.
"Come on in. I'll make you some tea."
"Tea? It's after midnight."
"Just say 'yes' and come with me."
Sei shut the car off and followed Yumi to the house.
"You have a key?" Sei asked, realising that Yumi had not walked with a purse or anything to keep a key in.
"Secret spot," Yumi said, tiptoeing and reaching behind the porch light, pulling out a key.
"Won't tell a soul. But was that wise, Yumi? Now I can sneak into your house at night and molest you."
"I'm to go back to the dorms when vacation's over."
"I'll get you during Christmas, then."
They entered the house quietly, Yumi first, so she could turn on the living room lights.
"I guess my parents are out of it."
Yumi led Sei to the sofa and made her sit and watch the TV, while she went into the kitchen to make tea.
"Black or green?" Yumi asked.
"I don't really want any," Sei answered, leaning into the couch.
Yumi returned, tea-less, and sat next to Sei.
"What are we watching?"
"I have no idea. I'm not even paying attention to it."
"Not even tipsy," Sei said ruefully.
"Let's see what's on," said Yumi, taking the remote and flipping through the channels.
"Ah, not Kurosawa," Sei said, watching the black and white movie Yumi stopped on, "no bodyguards tonight, please. Find something with pie-throwing or something."
"Ah! Look Sei!"
"I am, and everything still looks black and white."
"I love this movie! It's so romantic."
"I saw this," Sei sighed. "One of them dies and the other swears to live on and wallow in her misery—how is that romantic?"
"They loved each other, Sei, that's why it's romantic," Yumi said, putting the remote down.
"Guess we're watching it, then."
Sei was not sure when Yumi shifted closer to her or when she wrapped an arm around the smaller girl. She figured it was forty minutes into the movie, when Simone confessed her love to Resine. Sei was someone who could be called 'impulsive' but kissing the top of Yumi's head seemed like the most natural thing in the world—like it was the next thing to do right after breathing or blinking.
Yumi looked at Sei and returned the gesture, this time on her right cheek.
"I gave you one here," Yumi said softly with a smile, touching Sei's left cheek, "I didn't want the other to be lonely after all this time."
"Hey Yumi?" Sei asked quietly, tightening her hold around the girl who had gone to resting her head against her chest and curling up into the couch.
"Why'd you ask me come inside?"
"I wanted to spend a little more time with you."
"Is that all?"
"What do you mean?"
"Asking someone to come in after a date implies one thing."
"What sort of dates have you been going on?" Yumi asked playfully.
"I'm not joking, Yumi," Sei said, stroking the younger woman's hair. "What are we doing?"
Yumi was not sure how to answer. She knew why she asked Sei inside. Only, she had not thought Sei would have known too. But then, Yumi thought, Sei knew her.
"I got a question."
The third part of their evening.
Sei's voice shot through Yumi, warming her, each syllable saying to her that she cared.
"It'll be my turn, though."
Sei laughed, a happy sound that Yumi enjoyed listening to.
She knew the next time, things would be better.
Yumi felt Sei's lips press against hers. It was so easy, kissing Sei. All her elaborate fantasies—all involving Sachiko, all somewhere dimly-lit and romantic, not bright and in her living room and with Sei—simply deconstructed. She wanted, for her first time, a woman who would kiss her with such passion she could not breathe far less even think of breathing. Sei kissed her the way one kissed a high school boyfriend or girlfriend, and it made Yumi wonder just how many women the flirt Satou Sei had conquered, if any at all. But Yumi changed her mind. Sei was loving, patient in a way Yumi had never expected her to be, exerting hunger with her lips and gentility with her tongue. Yumi knew how Sei was kissing her. Sei kissed her in a way that one would kiss a long-time lover who knew every inch of your body.
They stayed like that for some time, occasionally touching each other's face, or lacing their fingers in the other's hair; an easier task, it turned out, for Yumi. Neither seemed to remember that they were in the Fukuzawa's living room, in a place they would have been most definitely caught had Yumi's father or mother decided on a midnight snack. It seemed it would continue this way, until Sei made that move. She reached down and slipped her hand up Yumi's skirt, brushing her thigh with her fingers, causing Yumi to tremble slightly.
"Yumi…" she said hoarsely, pulling away.
"Sei…let's go to my room."
Yumi took Sei's hand in hers and the two quietly climbed the stairs until they were in Yumi's bedroom, the door locked safely behind them.
"First time I've ever been in your room," Sei said, looking around. "Oh. Stuffed animals. How very cute of you."
Yumi took the toys off her bed and put them on her desk, glaring at Sei a little. Sei helped herself to the edge of Yumi's bed as Yumi stood only a few feet away from her.
"You ready?" Sei asked, her voice quiet but full of anticipation.
Sei watched as Yumi turned away from her to undress. She saw the girl's hands working, most likely unbuttoning her shirt. She slipped it off, and soon after, the skirt followed. Sei watched Yumi—her back facing her—half-naked, standing there, unmoving in her underwear.
Yumi suddenly felt cold. She looked at her clothes on the ground and wondered what in Maria-sama's name was she doing. But as soon as she felt Sei's arms wrap around her body, she wondered why in Maria-sama's name she had not done it sooner.
"I wish we could just stay like this," she said softly.
"Oh…then you don't want—?" she heard Sei say quietly.
"I do," Yumi said quickly, hoping she had not hurt Sei's feelings.
Sei was, she knew, more fragile than she, Yumi, ever had been or ever would be.
"Come on," Sei said gently, turning Yumi around.
Yumi went red, and looked away from Sei's eyes.
"You're lovely," Sei assured her, kissing her forehead.
"Have you done this before? Be honest."
"No," Sei said, so quietly Yumi wondered if she was ashamed of it, "I haven't."
It made Yumi a little glad to hear it.
Sei held her hand, taking her to the bed, and kept holding her hand as they sat and kissed. Yumi only stopped contact with Sei when she felt the older woman's hand touch her chest.
Yumi took off her bra, careful to wrap her arms around herself and block her breasts from Sei's eyes. Sei gently took her hands in her own, and lowered them, exposing the girl.
"Don't…" Yumi protested weakly, "they're not…"
Sei ran her hand along Yumi's shoulder, kissed her soundly, and laid that hand to rest on Yumi's left breast. She squeezed it gently, causing Yumi to gasp. Sei guided her down to the bed where she kissed and touched the younger woman. Sei began pulling Yumi's panties down, when the girl grabbed her hands.
"Don't look," she mumbled.
"That's just like you."
She continued removing the girl's underwear, aware that Yumi's eyes were shut tight. Sei took Yumi in, committing every inch of the girl to memory. She pulled her own clothes off as quickly as she could, noticing briefly as she pulled her shirt over her head that Yumi was watching.
"You ready?" Sei asked, a little nervously.
Sei took Yumi's face in her hands and kissed her hard. She stroked the girl's jawline, cheeks and eyebrows gently, admiring her for the moment. Yumi's arms found their way around Sei's back, and held her there as though she were keeping her in place, as if she feared that letting go meant losing Sei.
One of Sei's hands let go of her face after a few minutes and went back to her breast. It left Yumi's breast after a few more minutes and travelled down her ribs, past her stomach and then stopped in between her legs. Yumi knew what touching there felt like, but it was a completely different thing to have a foreign hand stroke her so intimately. Planting a kiss on Yumi's left breast, Sei entered her.
"It hurts," Yumi gasped.
"Sorry," Sei mumbled, removing one of her fingers.
She bit down on her bottom lip, trying not to make any uncomfortable noises to discourage Sei. Sei continued sliding in and out of her, but Yumi thought she could hardly bear the contact any longer. It had not started to feel any better. Sei was suckling her breast, and Yumi hoped she would stay there and not look at her, lest her face betrayed her as it was wont to do. She thought it mildly odd that part of her wanted Sei to keep her mouth all over her and the other felt as though it couldn't take Sei's finger in her for another second.
Yumi's body shuddered when she finally came. It was a small, fleeting sensation, but it sent a pleasant electricity through her mid-section and legs—it was a much better experience than what she had been feeling earlier. Sei heard her light whimpers, and pulled herself out of Yumi's body.
She rested her head against the smaller woman's stomach, finding a place to rest. Yumi cradled Sei's tight in her arms, protectively, their roles mysteriously and suddenly reversed; Sei in her fragility, more disappointed than she, Yumi, should have been. One arm was around Sei's shoulders, the other, tangled in the woman's short tresses. Sei hugged Yumi around the waist, her arms pressing against the girl's sides. They stayed tight around each other for a while, feeling each other, allowing the reality of what they just did sink slowly into their bones.
Yumi thought it strange that if she had done this with someone else, with Sachiko perhaps, she would have felt a great surge of energy, of emotion, of something that was the same as a finger pointing accusingly at her. The wave of realisation would have hit, hard. She had none of these feelings now. She knew, had she done it with anyone else, maybe with Sachiko, a voice would have thundered in her head 'What have you done?! You'll REGRET this.' Rather, a soft, almost distant, almost gentle voice lulled in the back of her mind 'Oh…with Sei…that's good.'
"This wasn't how…this wasn't how I thought it would be," Sei finally said, breaking the quiet that was surrounding them, for it certainly was not silent; not when Yumi had heard Sei's breathing and not when Sei had heard Yumi's stomach making funny noises.
"I wanted your first time to be special. I'm sor—"
"Don't. Please don't apologise," Yumi implored, looking up at the ceiling, remembering for a fleeting moment that she had wanted to stick fluorescent stars up there when she was about twelve or thirteen.
Yumi wondered how she could say 'It was special, Sei. It was with you'. without sounding childish or foolish. It probably would have sounded just as silly had she said to Sei, 'I once wanted to stick glowing plastic stars on my ceiling'.
"Your belly is complaining," Sei said, kissing near her navel before sliding up to be nearer to Yumi.
"I'm not hungry," Yumi thought aloud.
"Maybe it was just singing me to sleep, then."
Yumi shifted to make room for Sei as they lay side by side.
"It's not like what you see on TV or read about, is it?" Sei said, looking Yumi in the eye with her own light ones.
"I guess not."
"Almost makes me wish I were Sachiko."
"Don't say that."
"You might have liked it more."
Sei rested her head in the crook of Yumi's neck and shoulder, taking Yumi's hand and playing with her fingers gently. There was nothing Yumi could say to counter that. She might have, but only because it would have been wrong in more ways than one, Sachiko's engagement to Kashiwagi Suguru the least of it. There certainly would have been more passion.
"You think it wasn't supposed to happen between us?
"Why not?" Yumi asked.
"I was thinking about the mind-blowing sex people have in those crappy shoujo novels. It's always between people who were meant for each other, or something fantastical like that."
Yumi knew what Sei was implying.
"You said you loved me."
"That's enough for me."
Yumi braved a kiss on Sei's forehead. It was a light, simple thing but she heard Sei's breath hitch just slightly as she closed her eyes. In the darkness, Yumi smiled.
"We…we can keep trying."
"You'd want that?" Sei asked, something akin to both happiness and anticipation in her tone.
"Yes," Yumi resolved. "I want us to keep trying."
Sei did not hesitate for a moment to answer.
Kobayashi is a friend of Yuuki who has a little crush on Yumi (info from light novel.) I believe he can be seen in the second OAV but don't I don't really recall.
Sachiko chose to attend Lillian University. As of this moment, I don't know whether her parents have given her the okay (info from light novel.)
Enka – it's like Japanese folk music.
Don't know a thing about international legal drinking ages. Where I'm from, once you didn't look green around the edges, it's okay to drink alcohol. Even though the signs say you should be eighteen. Or is it twenty-one? Either way, nobody cares. Yumi is supposed to be nearing nineteen anyway.
Woodwind section – it's the part of an orchestra where flautists and other wind instrument players sit. Sei was using innuendo, as she was referring to flutes which, as of late, (and for reasons I wash my hands of) are depicted as Sapphic symbols.
And I'll have you know, it really is damn funny to interrupt people when they choose to do it in their cars. Or maybe my friends and I are just wicked and have the maturity of bored thirteen-year-olds? Try knocking on their windows and running for your own getaway car—the best training for a 100 metre sprint.
Kurosawa and bodyguards – it is a reference to Kurosawa Akira, a famous Japanese filmmaker who made Kaze no Yojimbo and the more popular The Seven Samurai, which was adapted into the anime Samurai 7.
Simone and Resine – that whole thing was a reference to the 70s manga Shiroi Heya no Futari. Yuri fans everywhere should have read it. Of course, Technicolor existed in the seventies. The whole black and white thing was a personal joke about manga.
I got the idea for the sex part while thinking about how people these days seem to be getting off on tragic sex. It is implied, and I hope you caught it, that because Yumi and Sei are doing the Right Thing, it's not so…stimulating. Unrequited love is after all, a main theme in yuri. I think it's part of the appeal for some people. But fortunately (unfortunately?) for Yumi in this fic, Sei loves her bad.
Tell me how I did, hombres and femmes.